A blog post topic that has been ironically lingering on my To-do list for some time is a comparison of task managers I’ve been using over the years: Remember the Milk (RTM), Astrid, Wunderlist and Todoist. If there’s anything I love doing, it’s making To-do lists and if there’s another thing I really love it’s finding cool apps that help me get stuff done. I’m by no means a GTD-fan, but I do enjoy a good AutoFocus FV session (I’ll write a blog on that technique next) and lists in general. So let’s get started with the list comparison (lol). I’ll summarize my love, feelings of meh and other assorted ramblings for Remember the Milk, Astrid and Wunderlist and Todoist below.
Oh RTM and your little cow favicon (I might have mentioned this before), how I used to love you. This was the first list keeping application I ever used. Back then, I mainly used it for repeating house chores. It has a nice and clean interface and many repeating task options. When I got an Android smartphone, I was excited to get the RTM app so I could check off my tasks anywhere. That’s when I found out that with a free account, you are only allowed to sync once a day! Fine, I thought, I’ll go premium… As it turns out, that’s 25 dollars…. Per year! Oh no they didn’t!
love: e-mail reminders, smart task adding, tags
meh: crazy high subscription fee and severely disfunctional phone apps without it
Once the most popular task manager on Lifehacker this cute squid once managed all my tasks for me after I left RTM behind. One of the things I enjoyed most about this was not just the standard cool features you come to know and love of many task managers, but the notifications and reminders. In the Android app, the squid personally reminds you what needs to be done and praises you when you complete tasks. All the necessary features were entirely free and I happily used Astrid for tasks at home and at work. Entering a task like ‘Vacuum cleaning after 3 days’ meant that the task would automatically be re-scheduled 3 days after completion. So why am I past-tensing this description? Yahoo bought Astrid and it’s hinted that it will no longer be available in its current form soon.
love: smart task adding, extensive repeating tasks options, squid, reminders, interaction, motivation
meh: Yahoo takeover
When the Astrid news came out, Wunderlist jumped in to rescue the helpless ex-Astrid users. Wunderlist was reborn recently as Wunderlist 2 and is now native on Mac, iPhone, iPad, Web, Android and Windows PC. What it lacks in the cuteness department, it definitely makes up for in functionality. Smart lists (hidden if nothing is there to be shown in them), a smooth and extremely simple and snappy interface that syncs well on both the web and phone and customization options. The Pro accounts offer more functionality for teams and extra background options and aren’t a necessity.
love: sharing, smart lists, simplicity, customization, subtasks, pretty colors, karma,
I have found nothing to meh about so far! update: by now I have. I don’t really like the design and I can’t add tasks that repeat *after* x days instead of *every* x days (there is a difference!)
So there I was, happily minding my own productivity with Wunderlist, when a certain cpbotha lured me into the beautiful and productive world of Todoist. At first I was a bit scared that I would need to shell out for a premium account to take full advantage of this system, but after some months I’m still perfectly happy with the free version. The advantages over Wunderlist are mainly a nicer design, better task specification (add tasks that repeat *after* x days as well as *every* x days), productivity statistics, a very cool karma graph and pretty colors for different projects.
love: design, color-coded projects, task specification, karma, statistics, daily e-mails
meh: no mehs encountered in my three months with Todoist.
I started out with RTM many years ago. After finding Astrid I thought I was set for life. I was quite heartbroken when the Yahoo news dropped, but after finding Wunderlist, I didn’t feel too bad about it anymore. I definitely felt that Astrid suited my personal needs best, but Wunderlist was a very close second. When I found out about Todoist, I feel that this is really the best fit for me and I’m not looking back or even thinking about Astrid anymore 😉
Do you use a task manager app? What are your favorites?